The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has published a report on the adjudication of intellectual property cases worldwide, providing a snapshot of the structures and practices of specialised intellectual property jurisdictions (SIPJs) in a group of geographically and economically diverse countries. The report was launched in Moscow on April 29 during a session organized by ICC and ICC Russia at Russia’s largest IP-event, the International Forum on Intellectual Property – 21 Century.
The newly published study is based on the practical experiences of IP litigation experts in 24 countries, 19 of which have SIPJs – defined as a tribunal or court, or a permanent division or a chamber within a civil or commercial court or administrative body, having exclusive authority to hear IP disputes or a particular kind of IP dispute.
Daphne Yong-d’Hervé, Chief Intellectual Property Officer at ICC said: “The increasing use of the IP system means that the number of disputes related to intellectual property is set to grow. Both users and holders of IP rights need well-functioning and efficient mechanisms to resolve these disputes. The establishment of SIPJs by many countries is a positive trend which can help improve the efficiency and quality of the adjudication of IP cases.”
Increasing effectiveness of IP rights enforcement
The report reviews various aspects of SIPJs, including their structure and competence, the composition of judicial tribunals, their procedures, and their rules of representation.
The new ICC report also examines the reasons why policymakers choose to establish specialist IP jurisdictions, with “developing IP expertise in specialised judges” and “improving the consistency and predictability of court judgments” cited among the five primary motivations. The report concludes that SIPJs are considered by practitioners and litigants in all surveyed countries to increase the effectiveness of IP rights enforcement, with proper trial mechanisms and judicial expertise being crucial to a well-functioning SIPJ.
Despite a general convergence in the reasons for establishing SIPJs, the report identifies a large diversity in the structures and mechanisms of specialised IP jurisdictions – with respect to their form, their competence, the appointment of judges and experts and the representation of parties – while underscoring the importance of the specific social, economic and legal needs of a country in influencing the creation and design of SIPJs.
A helping hand for business and governments
Hao Ma, President of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Patent and Trademark Law Office, and Chair of the ICC Task Force on Specialised IP Jurisdictions, said: “Through this report, ICC aims to contribute to a better understanding of the current landscape of SIPJs around the world. We hope that the study will help businesses and governments better understand how SIPJs around the world function and provide information that countries can draw upon when considering how to establish or improve their own systems for resolving IP disputes.”
Today’s launch session was opened by the head of the Russian Intellectual Property Court and the Russian Ministry of Justice and brought together judges, litigators and litigants from Russia, China, France, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom to exchange experiences on the various aspects of SIPJs identified in the report.